Taliban rulers in Afghanistan increased the import tax on coal by 30%, after Pakistan expressed interest in importing coal. The new tax increment doubled the price of coal from $90 per ton to $200.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged Afghanistan’s government to provide cheaper but good quality import of coal in the country’s local currency instead of dollars. The step was suggested to make coal imports cheaper.
According to reports, the Afghan Taliban considered this step as a chance to generate more revenue for Pakistan’s weakening economy. The suggestion of importing coal in rupees was deemed beneficial only for Pakistan’s economical interest by the Afghan Taliban.
After the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the country faced severe economic crises furthered by United States’ imposed sanctions.
“These sanctions and funding cuts are isolating Afghanistan economically and pushing the country into economic collapse’’, stated Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar.
In addition, Pakistan is witnessing a consistent energy shortage, along with limited foreign reserves to import coal or gas. It imports 70% of its coal from South Africa for its cement and textile industries.